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UK’s Military Beasts Came Out to Play for the Largest Arctic Exercise in Three Decades

UK’s Royal Navy and Royal Marine completed a real “tour de force” as Cold Response 2022 came to an end. This was the largest defense exercise unfolded in Norway since the Cold War, and hundreds of warships, fighter jets, helicopters, along with submarines, snowmobiles, and smaller boats had to prove their strength in the challenging Arctic environment.
Merlin Helicopters carried out surveillance missions 11 photos
Wildcat HelicopterViking All-Terrain VehicleRoyal Marines took part in live-fire exercisesM Coy 42 Commando Riding an OSRVRoyal Marines DrillRoyal Marines DrillRoyal Marines DrillInflatable Boats were deployed from a submarineInflatable Boats were deployed from a submarineMerlin Helicopters carried out surveillance missions
This recent Arctic exercise was an amazing display of force on land, water, and in the air. One of the greatest accomplishments for the Royal Navy was that one of its fifth-generation aircraft carriers successfully operated in Arctic conditions for the first time.

HMS Prince of Wales, one of the new Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers and the Navy’s biggest warship, traveled so far north for the first time, faced the extremely low temperatures, and worked efficiently with F-35B fighter jets, Sea Stallion helicopters, and the unmistakable Osprey MV22 tiltrotor.

The Royal Navy’s Wildcat helicopters also marked a premiere, as they operated over land for the first time in support of the Royal Marines’ 847 Naval Air Squadron. The powerful Seaspray radar was used to track land-based targets instead of enemy ships, as it would normally do.

Also, as part of the exercise, small teams from the Surveillance and Reconnaissance Squadron were launched on Inflatable Raiding Crafts (IRCs) from a hunter-killer submarine, while larger and faster boats belonging to the Norwegian military were used to access areas that were harder to reach.

Four of the Royal Navy’s Astute class of modern nuclear submarines are already in operation. These 318-foot (97 meters) hunter-killers weigh 7,400 tons and are equipped with nuclear reactors for an extensive range.

The Oversnow Reconnaissance Vehicles (OSRVs), basically military snowmobiles, had the task of tackling threats on the ground in reconnaissance missions along the Norwegian coastlines. The Royal Marines Mountain Leaders also put these beasts to the test during live-fire exercises in the untamed wilderness, where speed and coordination were vital.

The impressive cooperation of so many water, land, and air vehicles in the unforgiving Arctic climate turned Cold Response 2022 into a truly memorable defense exercise.

press release
 
 
 
 
 

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